Why do cameras eat up batteries when attached to your computer?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Sheldon, May 26, 2005.

  1. Sheldon

    Sheldon Guest

    I can take lots of pics with either of my digital cameras with one charge,
    and they will also idle for a long time. Why, when you attach the camera to
    your computer, to pull images off of it or for any reason, does the camera
    go through batteries like crazy? What is there about connecting it to your
    computer?

    Sheldon
     
    Sheldon, May 26, 2005
    #1
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  2. On Wed, 25 May 2005 20:03:00 -0600, in rec.photo.digital , "Sheldon"
    <> in <>
    wrote:

    >I can take lots of pics with either of my digital cameras with one charge,
    >and they will also idle for a long time. Why, when you attach the camera to
    >your computer, to pull images off of it or for any reason, does the camera
    >go through batteries like crazy? What is there about connecting it to your
    >computer?


    It probably does not go to sleep if attached. It is easy to forget how
    long you have it attached and end up running it for half an hour on
    up.


    --
    Matt Silberstein

    All in all, if I could be any animal, I would want to be
    a duck or a goose. They can fly, walk, and swim. Plus,
    there there is a certain satisfaction knowing that at the
    end of your life you will taste good with an orange sauce
    or, in the case of a goose, a chestnut stuffing.
     
    Matt Silberstein, May 26, 2005
    #2
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  3. Sheldon

    Mark² Guest

    "Sheldon" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I can take lots of pics with either of my digital cameras with one charge,
    >and they will also idle for a long time. Why, when you attach the camera
    >to your computer, to pull images off of it or for any reason, does the
    >camera go through batteries like crazy? What is there about connecting it
    >to your computer?
    >
    > Sheldon


    Unfortunately, most cameras can't power themselves off of the USB power, and
    need the battery for basic circuitry functions as it communicates with the
    computer...
     
    Mark², May 26, 2005
    #3
  4. Sheldon

    Guest

    It must depend on the camera. My Oly has often sat for an hour or two
    attached to the PC when I've forgotten to shut it off, and it seems to
    have drawn very little power - it is sensible enough to shut off the
    LCD/EVF as soon as it has finished displaying the 'getting connected'
    messages.

    Is this using a memory card, or perhaps a microdrive? I would imagine
    the latter would drain batteries at a higher rate. Otherwise, I would
    have thought transferring data around should be low-current, compared
    to lit displays, AF, zooming, etc...
     
    , May 26, 2005
    #4
  5. Sheldon wrote:
    > I can take lots of pics with either of my digital cameras with one
    > charge, and they will also idle for a long time. Why, when you
    > attach the camera to your computer, to pull images off of it or for
    > any reason, does the camera go through batteries like crazy? What is
    > there about connecting it to your computer?
    >
    > Sheldon


    Use a card-reader, not the camera, to download your pictures. It avoids
    issues like this, and may be much faster (look USB 2.0 hi-speed both in
    your computer and the card reader).

    David
     
    David J Taylor, May 26, 2005
    #5
  6. >>Use a card-reader, not the camera, to download your pictures. It avoids
    >>issues like this, and may be much faster (look USB 2.0 hi-speed both in
    >>your computer and the card reader).

    I must admit that I get a bit worried that moving that flimsy card back and
    forth between camera and card reader may eventually damage it. I've already
    had one experience of putting my card in a reader and it coming out with a
    scratch right across the contacts. Luckily it still worked but it did make
    me nervous.

    I just have this feeling that leaving it in the camera and never ever moving
    it could be best for card longevity.

    Keith
     
    Keith Sheppard, May 26, 2005
    #6
  7. Keith Sheppard <> wrote:

    : I just have this feeling that leaving it in the camera and never ever
    : moving it could be best for card longevity.

    Yes and no. It is true that removing and reinstalling a card does take it
    out of the physical protections afforded by the camera body. But the
    contacts in the camera and on the card assume that it will be removed from
    time to time and so the contacts count on this physical motion to keep the
    contacts clean. And if the card is handled with all due care and used in
    good quality card readers, any physical damage directly attributable to
    the removal of the card will be reduced.

    Your idea of not removing the card may remove the possibility of damage to
    the card while out of the camera. But there is one other factor. By
    inserting and removing the USB plug into the camera you run a greater risk
    of damage to the plug. IMHO the contacts on the mini-USB plug seem to be
    much more likely to be damaged. And if this plug is damaged the repair
    would involve sending in the entire camera for repair. While a damaged
    memory card would only require the replacement of the card. Which expense
    would you rather pay for?

    So either get a good (well known brand, not specifically expensive) card
    reader, or get an external power supply for your camera so the camera can
    be AC powered durring the time it is connected to the computer. My advice
    is the card reader.

    JMHO

    Randy

    ==========
    Randy Berbaum
    Champaign, IL
     
    Randy Berbaum, May 26, 2005
    #7
  8. Randy Berbaum wrote:
    > Keith Sheppard <> wrote:
    >
    >> I just have this feeling that leaving it in the camera and never ever
    >> moving it could be best for card longevity.

    >
    > Yes and no. It is true that removing and reinstalling a card does
    > take it out of the physical protections afforded by the camera body.
    > But the contacts in the camera and on the card assume that it will be
    > removed from time to time and so the contacts count on this physical
    > motion to keep the contacts clean. And if the card is handled with
    > all due care and used in good quality card readers, any physical
    > damage directly attributable to the removal of the card will be
    > reduced.
    >
    > Your idea of not removing the card may remove the possibility of
    > damage to the card while out of the camera. But there is one other
    > factor. By inserting and removing the USB plug into the camera you
    > run a greater risk of damage to the plug. IMHO the contacts on the
    > mini-USB plug seem to be much more likely to be damaged. And if this
    > plug is damaged the repair would involve sending in the entire camera
    > for repair. While a damaged memory card would only require the
    > replacement of the card. Which expense would you rather pay for?
    >
    > So either get a good (well known brand, not specifically expensive)
    > card reader, or get an external power supply for your camera so the
    > camera can be AC powered durring the time it is connected to the
    > computer. My advice is the card reader.
    >
    > JMHO
    >
    > Randy


    I agree with Randy. One tof the things I do like about SD cards over
    Compact Flash is the larger, simpler contact arrangements. These strike
    me as a lot less delicate than typical USB connectors on cameras.

    David
     
    David J Taylor, May 26, 2005
    #8
  9. Sheldon

    Sheldon Guest

    <> Is this using a memory card, or perhaps a microdrive? I would imagine
    > the latter would drain batteries at a higher rate. Otherwise, I would
    > have thought transferring data around should be low-current, compared
    > to lit displays, AF, zooming, etc...


    It has a memory card, and I would have thought the same thing. Even my D70
    goes through a charge like crazy when attached to the computer, but gives me
    tons of time when just using the camera for shooting. And yes, I do know
    there are a lot of advantages to using a card reader. I was just curious as
    to what was depressing the battery life when hooked to a computer.
     
    Sheldon, May 26, 2005
    #9
  10. Sheldon

    Alan Meyer Guest

    Sheldon wrote:
    > I can take lots of pics with either of my digital cameras with one charge,
    > and they will also idle for a long time. Why, when you attach the camera to
    > your computer, to pull images off of it or for any reason, does the camera
    > go through batteries like crazy? What is there about connecting it to your
    > computer?
    >
    > Sheldon


    Nobody actually answered your question.

    Since I don't know the answer, I'm free to offer a wild-ass
    guess :)

    I'm guessing that the camera is running in some mode in
    which it's constantly polling the USB connection to see
    if a command has arrived, and that the computer in the
    camera is therefore busy all the time.

    That's just a wild guess. Maybe someone who knows will
    speak up. Does anyone actually know?

    Alan
     
    Alan Meyer, May 26, 2005
    #10
  11. Sheldon

    Darren Cooke Guest

    I don't know the answer either but I have noticed this doesn't just apply to
    cameras but probably any battery powered device connected through a USB
    port.

    My MP3 player battery should last 14 hours of continuous playing but will
    flatten within an hour or so of being connected to my computer. Connecting a
    USB device would seem to drain any battery much quicker than normal use.

    Daz

    "Sheldon" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I can take lots of pics with either of my digital cameras with one charge,
    >and they will also idle for a long time. Why, when you attach the camera
    >to your computer, to pull images off of it or for any reason, does the
    >camera go through batteries like crazy? What is there about connecting it
    >to your computer?
    >
    > Sheldon
    >
     
    Darren Cooke, May 27, 2005
    #11
  12. Sheldon

    Owamanga Guest

    On Fri, 27 May 2005 20:41:40 +0100, "Darren Cooke"
    <> wrote:

    >"Sheldon" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >>I can take lots of pics with either of my digital cameras with one charge,
    >>and they will also idle for a long time. Why, when you attach the camera
    >>to your computer, to pull images off of it or for any reason, does the
    >>camera go through batteries like crazy? What is there about connecting it
    >>to your computer?
    >>
    >> Sheldon
    >>

    >
    >I don't know the answer either but I have noticed this doesn't just apply to
    >cameras but probably any battery powered device connected through a USB
    >port.
    >
    >My MP3 player battery should last 14 hours of continuous playing but will
    >flatten within an hour or so of being connected to my computer. Connecting a
    >USB device would seem to drain any battery much quicker than normal use.


    It's Microsoft, stealing your electricity and using it to run the
    pumps for the massive waterfall at the Gate's mansion.

    Apple are the holders of secret technology that can reverse this
    process, the mini iPOD actually charges itself up using only power it
    steals from the USB port.

    --
    Owamanga!
    http://www.pbase.com/owamanga
     
    Owamanga, May 27, 2005
    #12
  13. Sheldon

    Sheldon Guest

    "Owamanga" <owamanga(not-this-bit)@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:p...
    > On Fri, 27 May 2005 20:41:40 +0100, "Darren Cooke"
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >>"Sheldon" <> wrote in message
    >>news:...
    >>>I can take lots of pics with either of my digital cameras with one
    >>>charge,
    >>>and they will also idle for a long time. Why, when you attach the camera
    >>>to your computer, to pull images off of it or for any reason, does the
    >>>camera go through batteries like crazy? What is there about connecting
    >>>it
    >>>to your computer?
    >>>
    >>> Sheldon
    >>>

    >>
    >>I don't know the answer either but I have noticed this doesn't just apply
    >>to
    >>cameras but probably any battery powered device connected through a USB
    >>port.
    >>
    >>My MP3 player battery should last 14 hours of continuous playing but will
    >>flatten within an hour or so of being connected to my computer. Connecting
    >>a
    >>USB device would seem to drain any battery much quicker than normal use.

    >
    > It's Microsoft, stealing your electricity and using it to run the
    > pumps for the massive waterfall at the Gate's mansion.
    >
    > Apple are the holders of secret technology that can reverse this
    > process, the mini iPOD actually charges itself up using only power it
    > steals from the USB port.


    Using the same power it steals from my camera on a PC. Now I get it. :)
     
    Sheldon, May 28, 2005
    #13
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